Conflicts in Indonesia and Hong Kong spread worldwide, arousing interest of many people in many different aspects. Although, conflicts in both regions are having different issues, but the thin red line occurred, showing a similarity. One of them is the spread of fake news, which is finally affected and determined the riots.
In Indonesian case, the severity of fake news and hoax shown by Facebook action to remove several pages, groups, and accounts that engage in coordinated, inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram. They found three separate operations, which is in Indonesian, mostly related riot in Papua. Whether it is about the tension between Indonesian government and the OPM rebel, or regarding Wamena riot.
“We continue to try to detect and stop this type of activity, because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people. We record this page, group and account based on their behavior. Not the content they post,” Facebook said as quoted from its official page.
In Indonesia, Facebook so far claimed to have removed 69 Facebook accounts, 42 pages, and 34 Instagram accounts that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. The people behind this network use fake accounts to manage pages, spread their content, and direct people to sites outside the platform. They mainly posted in English and Indonesian about West Papua. Some pages share content to support the independence movement. While others posted criticisms of the government.
The statement from Ministry of Information and Communication of Indonesia unveiled interesting facts regarding spreading hoax in the middle of conflict. Based on Minister Rudiantara, there were around 20 countries that participated in spreading hoax news related to Papua. Most hoaxes was coming from one country in Europe.
“At most one of the European countries, we noted that there were 20 more countries originating from the mention of the country. But not necessarily the citizens (who spread) but from that country,” said Rudiantara in the Function Room, Office of the Ministry of Communication and Information, Merdeka Barat Street, Jakarta Pusat, Tuesday (03/09/2019).
Furthermore, Rudiantara said that his party had found 550 thousand URLs that spread hoax news. Mostly spread on social media Twitter. “Well, if we talk about numbers, up to yesterday there were 550 thousand URLs, that is the channel used to spread hoaxes, at most Twitter, that’s all and of the 550 thousand original accounts posted, which mention that there are more than 100,000,” he said.
The statement from Rudiantara makes everything is clear, and getting higher tense. Why? It is because, a similar condition has ever been happening in Hong Kong. What is the relation? Of course, what has happened in Hong Kong is merely related with Indonesia in economic side. Especially related with how Indonesia could survive in the middle of trade war.
One issue in Hong Kong, the most interested one, was about a story on a Hong Kong woman, which hit by a bullet projectile in the eye as protesters clashed with the police. Even, on this incident, The New York Times lifted the news with a special title called “China Is Waging a Disinformation War Against Hong Kong Protesters”.
How the suspicious thing came through the NY Times? It is because, at that time China also given immediate response, so quickly: It was China state television network reported that the woman had been injured not by one of the police’s bean bag rounds, but by a protester.
The network’s website went further: It posted what it said was a photo of the woman counting out cash on a Hong Kong sidewalk — insinuating, as Chinese reports have claimed before, that the protesters are merely paid provocateurs.
NY Times also stated in the article that it wasn’t more than just spin or fake news. Claimed,the Communist Party exerts overwhelming control over media content inside China’s so-called Great Firewall, and it is now using it as a cudgel in an information war over the protests that have convulsed Hong Kong for months.
In more given statement, NY Times also wrote that in recent days, China has more aggressively stirred up nationalist and anti-Western sentiment using state and social media, and it has manipulated the context of images and videos to undermine the protesters. Chinese officials have begun branding the demonstrations as a prelude to terrorism.
The result, both in main land China and abroad, has been to create an alternate version of what, seen from Hong Kong, is clearly a popular demonstration movement. In China’s version, a small, violent gang of protesters, unsupported by residents and provoked by foreign agents, is running rampant, calling for Hong Kong’s independence and tearing China apart.
Moreover, of course the NY Times article about Hong Kong girl shot out incident was absolutely shocking. But, the defense move from China’s authority on that issue was also beyond anybody’s imagination.
Finally, everybody knows and realizes that it has more possibility for the incident to relate with current the US and China trade war. And for Hong Kong people, it will be justifying that what happened in their beloved land, the never ending looks a like riot, is beyond short term interest. It will be to shallow if only related with the Law Draft issue.